True Italian Tomato Sauce

Here is an absolutely delicious recipe using simple key ingredients that we all know and love, made irresistible.

It’s so easy to grab a jar of ready made tomato sauce whilst doing your weekly shop, but this quick and healthy substitute recipe will convert you into a bellissimo cook-from-scratch chef in no time. You will find that probably have most of the ingredients in your cupboards at home already!

 

Tomato Pasta Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 5/6 Sun-dried tomatoes + 2 TBSP of the oil they are kept in.
  • Herbs of your choice. 1 Handfull of fresh basil if you have it. Otherwise dried italian herbs are a good substitute (1 TBSP).
  • 1 onion
  • 1 TBSP of brown sugar
  • Salt & Pepper

Serve with pasta and cheese.

Serves 2  |  Suitable for Freezing

Directions

Fry chopped onions in the sun-dried tomato oil until they become translucent. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic, fry lightly until they start to gain some colour. Tip in dried herbs and stir. If you are using fresh herbs, add to the sauce before serving.

Tip all of the contents from the pan and the tin of chopped tomatoes into a blender and blitz until a smooth and silky. Transfer into a pan and heat the sauce through.

If you like a chunky textured sauce, skip the blender and add the chopped tomatoes straight into the pan of onions and sun dried tomatoes, simmer for 10 – 15 minuets until the sauce has thickened. 

Stir in a tsp of brown sugar (and the fresh herbs) a minuet before serving. The sugar is optional, it helps adds sweetness as the tomatoes can be quite acidic. 

Add cooked pasta to the sauce with a splash of the pasta water. The water helps combine the sauce and the pasta and stops the dish from drying out. Stir in the pasta until it is completely coated, this is the traditional way of serving pasta in Italy.

To finish add a handful of your favourite cheese, mozzarella is recommended for an authentic Italian taste. 

 

 

Avocado & Tuna Pasta

A nice healthy alternative to the bog standard tuna and mayonnaise.

Avocado & Tuna

Ingredients

  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • 1 tin of Tuna flakes
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic (flavours the pasta)
  • Seasoning
  • 200g Penne Pasta
  • A drizzle of Olive Oil

Tip all of the dried pasta into a large pan of boiling salted water. Crush the garlic and roughly chop, then add to the pasta. Whilst the pasta is cooking peel and stone your avocado. Leave a few slices to decorate your dish, then mash the rest. Add the drained tuna flakes and a good drizzle of olive oil to the mashed avocado, then combine together. Season to taste (I added lots of crack black peppercorns. Mmmm..). Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. Once the pasta is completely cool, mix in the avocado and tuna. Pop on to a plate and decorate with your beautifully sliced avocado!

Fresh Basil Pesto

Fresh Basil Pesto

Pesto

Pesto is mainly served with pasta, but it is also great with chicken, fish, other meats, drizzling over pizza and any antipasti.

Great hot or cold!

Ingredients:

Top up with oil, this will help it keep for longer.

  • Large handful of fresh Basil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive oil or Arrabiata oil
  • Handful of pine kernels and extra to scatter on top
  • 75g Parmesan Cheese
  • 100g Penne pasta
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • Half a Lemon

The Arrabiata oil is a chilli oil which has a nice heat to it, where as Olive oil has the classic earthy flavour to it and is used in the original Pesto recipe. I used the Arrabiata oil in this recipe as i wanted a little kick to my pasta but using Olive oil is just as good and most commonly kept in store cupboards. So the choice is up to you!

First add your pasta to a pan of seasoned boiling water and leave to cook for 10 to 15 mins.

Toast your pine kernels in a pan, be careful not to burn them as they colour very quickly. You are looking for golden brown kernels, toasting the kernels enhances the flavour making it even more delicious! Once you have toasted your pine nuts, put the nuts, half of the cheese, blitz until a smooth oily sauce. (The smell of the basil will make your tummy rumble!!) Add more oil if needed, remember you want it to coat the pasta completely. Once the the pasta is cooked to desired bite. Drain, but not until bone dry, you want it to retain some moisture. Stir the pesto into the pasta. Serve and scatter your remaining pine nuts and cheese!

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AND HEY PESTO! There you have it!

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Green Basil Pesto & Penne